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BOYS TRACK AND FIELD: Cedar Crest county title reign turns 18

There was considerable skepticism as to whether the Cedar Crest boys track team would procure its 18th consecutive county championship Saturday afternoon at Lebanon High School.

The Falcons had graduated key players the year prior and faced opponents that could challenge them in a new way.

However, the result was as identical as the previous 17 years and their coaching staff could breathe easy after the final results were called.

The Cedar Crest boys hoisted their 18th straight track and field county championship with a score of 160, edging nearest competitors Northern Lebanon (126.5), Palmyra (82.5) and Lebanon (78.5).

"This is so special, it feels as good as the first one," Falcons coach Rob Bare said. "They don't realize what they just did, it's going to sink in over the next couple days. On Monday the streak will end, but this one will be talked about forever."

The Vikings posed an enormous threat to Cedar Crest, including strong efforts in jumping. Northern Lebanon's Dominic Trader won the triple jump, and Ryan Morgan the high jump, while Damian DiAngelis took the pole vault (13 ft.) and Dakota Leonhard won the shot put (51 ft., 10 in.).

Nick Auchenbach won two events for the Vikings, capturing both the 110-meter hurdles (15.3 seconds) and 300-meter hurdles (39.7 seconds).

"Northern Lebanon is a great track and field program," Bare explained. "We thought it would be tough for the streak to continue. No matter what, we just wanted to compete and do our very, very best. I am so proud of the boy track and field athletes here from Cedar Crest High School. You won't see a finer performance than what you saw today."

Bare was noncommittal on his expectations leading into the match. While confident in past matchups, his feelings up to Saturday afternoon were unparalleled to previous years.

"This week was one of the few weeks in my coaching career where I had some doubt in my mind. Northern Lebanon is just an unbelievable program, they have great track and field athletes, great coaches and I just felt like it was time for the streak to end because of their performances. Our team is special, they're a special group of young men and I can't say enough about them. I'm really proud of what they were able to do."

Cedar Crest won both the 4x800-meter and 4x100-meter relays, which netted them key points in the match. Ivan Baptiste stood out for the Falcons, helping his team achieve a time of 44.3 seconds in the 400-meter relay, along with Landy Cruz, Damon Edwards and Kobe Bolanos.

"Ivan Baptiste did not even compete here last year," Bare exclaimed. "We graduated so many great, strong and fast athletes. Ivan steps in here and gets first or second in the 100, third in the 200, he anchors our four by 100 (relay) to a great ton."

"It's all about teamwork," said Baptiste of the relay victory. "When we work together, good things happen."

Lebanon's Jeronimo Rodriguez won both the 200-meter dash (22.9 seconds) and 400-meter dash (49 seconds) to earn the Outstanding Male Athlete Award. Rodriguez topped Joe Vedilago's (Northern Lebanon) meet record of 49.3 seconds from 2012.

"It feels amazing," said Rodriguez of winning the award. "My coach told me I could, especially after breaking the meet record and coming back and doing the 200. He said it was possible, I knew I was in the running for it, but I didn't know if I could get it."

Cedar Crest's Evan Horn finished first in the javelin (173 feet, 6 inches) over Alex Hoffsmith of Palmyra along with placing second in the long jump (21 feet) behind teammate Landy Cruz who achieved a jump of 21 feet, eight inches.

"That was a momentum swing," Bare said. "I told our kids if Evan Horn is the number 10 jumper in the Lebanon County meet then I am resigning on Monday and my jump coach is resigning on Monday, because that's how good the competition was. He came in with a 19-8 that was his best jump on Monday.

"We went first and second and that was a huge turning point in the meet. After that the 800 guys did well, the 200 guys did well, it just skyrocketed."

Also victorious on Saturday were Cedar Crest's Damon Edwards (100 meters), Lebanon's Derin Klick (800 meters), Elco's Jared Harnish (3200 meters) and Palmyra's Mason Cooper (discus).

Final Team Standings

1. Cedar Crest 160, 2. Northern Lebanon 126.5, 3. Palmyra 82.5, 4. Lebanon 78.5, 5. Elco 75, 6. Annville-Cleona 29.5

3,200 relay — 1. Cedar Crest (Redcay, Rios, Blandy, Glosser)8:27.5, 2. Palmyra, 3. Lebanon, 4. Annville-Cleona, 5. Northern Lebanon ; 110 hurdles — 1. Nicholas Auchenbach (NL) 15.3, 2. Darkes (E), 3. Bosworth (AC), 4. Bidelspach (E), 5. Cooper (P) ; 100 — 1. Damon Edwards (CC) 11.1 2. Baptiste (CC), 3. Firestine (E), 4. Miller (AC), 5. Rhette (P) ; 1,600 — 1. Jesse Cruise (CC) 4:23.5, 2. Moyer (E), 3. Jo. Cruise (CC), 4. McFeaters (NL), 5. Perry (P), 6. Daniel (P) ; 400 relay — 1 Cedar Crest (Bolanos, Cruz, Edwards, Baptiste ) 44.3, 2.Elco, 3. Palmyra, 4. Lebanon ; 400 — 1. Jeronimo Rodriguez (L) 49.0, 2. Whitman (NL),3. Auchenbach (NL), 4. Gilbertson (E), 5. Harro (P), 6. Rios (CC) ; 300 hurdles — 1.Auchenbach (NL) 39.7, 2. Gilbertson (E), 3. Troutman (E), 4. Zechman (AC), 5. Calvert (CC), 6. Hoffsmith (P); 800 — 1. Derin Klick (L) 1:57.9, 2. Glosser (CC), 3. Cruise (CC), 4. McFeaters (NL), 5. Robinson (P), 6. Albrite (P); 200 — 1. Rodriguez (L) 22.9, 2. Edwards (CC), 3. (tie) Baptiste (CC), Harro (P), 4. (tie) Rogers (L), Whitman (NL) ; 3,200 — 1. Jared Harnish (E) 9:50.9, 2. Jo. Cruise (CC), 3. Royer (CC), 4. Cole (P), 5. McFeaters (NL), 6. Werni (L) ; 1,600 relay — 1. Elco (Moyer, Troutman, Rolon, Eldridge) 3:28.0, 2. Cedar Crest, 3. Lebanon, 4. Palmyra, 5. Northern Lebanon ; Shot put — 1. Dakota Leonhard (NL) 51-10, 2. Vines (NL), 3. Cummins (L), 4. Kelly (CC), 5. Fox (AC), 6. Bybee (CC) ; Discus — 1. Mason Cooper (P) 136-7, 2. Kelly (CC), 3. Vines (NL), 4. Cummins (L), 5. Fox (AC), 6. Habowski (E) ; Triple jump — 1. Dominic Trader (NL) 42-7 3/4, 2. Cooper (P), 3. Fellows (NL), 4. Davis (P), 5. Cruz (CC), 6. Bosworth (AC) ; Long jump — 1.Landy Cruz (CC) 21-8, 2. Horn (CC), 3. Rodriguez (L), 4. Morgan (NL), 5. Gilbertson (E), 6. Cooper (P) ; High jump — 1. Ryan Morgan (NL) 6-0, 2. Randolph (NL), 3. Von Steffen (P), 4. Horn (CC), 5. Cruz (CC), 6. (tie) Lingle (P), Uhrich (AC) ; Pole vault — 1. Damian DiAngelis (NL) 13-0, 2. Brownstein (L), 3. Luu (L), 4. Diehm (CC), 5. Mengel (NL), 6. Greblunas (P) ; Javelin — 1. Evan Horn (CC) 173-6, 2. Hoffsmith (P), 3. Fox (AC), 4. Harro (P), 5. Leonhard (NL), 6. Randolph (NL)